Oh, that Norville Barnes... Lately I thought to review one of my underappreciated favorite movies, "The Hudsucker Proxy," which stars Tim Robbins (who plays the precious Norville), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman. It's about a hapless new college graduate who at once becomes the president of the company that he joins, first as a mail clerk. It's all part of a scam.
Gosh, the movie's clever! I love it for the lines (Norville's "you know, for kids!" when pitching the hula hoop), and especially the fast-talking career girl reporter, Amy Archer (played by Leigh), who's out to get poor Norville. She's a vision of loveliness with her red polished nails and lipsticked mouth--but, what comes out of that mouth! "Is this guy from Chumpsville? Ha! I even pulled the old mother routine."
Let's look at Autumn's fashion shoot through the lens of "The Hudsucker Proxy:"
Norville Barnes: Just got hired today.
Ancient Sorter: Terrific.
Norville Barnes: You know, entry level.
Ancient Sorter: Tell me about it.
Norville Barnes: But I've got big ideas.
Ancient Sorter: I'm sure you do.
Norville Barnes: For instance, take a look at this sweet baby.
[Shows a drawn circle on a piece of paper]
Norville Barnes: I developed it myself. Yessirie, this is my big ticket upstairs. You know, for kids.
Amy Archer: Norville, there's something I have to tell you. You see, I'm not really a secretary.
Norville Barnes: I know that, Amy.
Amy Archer: You do!?
Norville Barnes: I understand that you're not very skilled yet in the secretarial arts. I'm not that skilled as president. Oh sure, I put up a big front but not everyone's buying it.
But, it's just a movie--though in the grand old style!
As it happens, my sister Autumn is reliving old Hollywood this weekend at one of UCLA's themed dances at Powell Library. This Saturday, she will dance swing, tango, the cha-cha, the foxtrot, the polka, as well as others, at the "Hollywood Movie Magic Ball!" Sounds like fun!
And, by the way, if you love the American-esque expressions of this post, you might want to check-out a new book called I Love It When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime, and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech, by Ralph Keyes. I ordered the book at my library and can't wait until it arrives!